Yankees lefty CC Sabathia released a statement today announcing that he has checked himself into an alcohol rehabilitation program and will not be available for the postseason. His statement, via Yankees press release, is as follows:
Today I am checking myself into an alcohol rehabilitation center to receive the professional care and assistance needed to treat my disease. I love baseball and I love my teammates like brothers, and I am also fully aware that I am leaving at a time when we should all be coming together for one last push toward the World Series. It hurts me deeply to do this now, but I owe it to myself and to my family to get myself right. I want to take control of my disease, and I want to be a better man, father and player. As difficult as this decision is to share publicly, I don’t want to run and hide. But for now please respect my family’s need for privacy as we work through this challenge together. Being an adult means being accountable. Being a baseball player means that others look up to you. I want my kids — and others who may have become fans of mine over the years — to know that I am not too big of a man to ask for help. I want to hold my head up high, have a full heart and be the type of person again that I can be proud of. And that’s exactly what I am going to do. I am looking forward to being out on the field with my team next season playing the game that brings me so much happiness.
Clearly the decision comes at a difficult time, as the Yankees are presently preparing to embark on what they hope will be a lengthy postseason run. But, Sabathia’s admission of a problem and the need, on a human level, to seek help for his disease have understandably taken precedent.
It’s been a rough few seasons for Sabathia, who has seen his on-field production decline due, in large part, to knee issues that have required surgery. The longtime ace and former Cy Young winner has a 4.81 ERA across 424 1/3 innings in the past three seasons. He has one guaranteed year remaining on his contract in 2016, when he’ll earn $25MM, but he can also see a vesting option for the same amount kick in so long as he does not finish next year on the DL or spend significant time on the DL or in the bullpen due to left shoulder issues.